If you see a screen like one above then you’ve probably become another victim of RansomWare.
Sometimes it’s a hoax and a reboot will fix the issue. Often you will need real help.
Unless you’ve got a backup there is a good chance that you’ve lost your information such as documents and pictures.
Our advice at this stage would be turn off, disconnect the router / wifi and call for help.
There are two types of ransomware – lockscreen ransomware and encryption ransomware. Lockscreen ransomware shows a full-screen message that prevents you from accessing your PC or files. It says you have to pay money (a “ransom”) to get access to your PC again.
Encryption ransomware changes your files so you can’t open them. It does this by encrypting the files – see the Details for enterprises section if you’re interested in the technologies and techniques we’ve seen.
Older versions of ransom usually claim you have done something illegal with your PC, and that you are being fined by a police force or government agency.
These claims are false. It is a scare tactic designed to make you pay the money without telling anyone who might be able to restore your PC.
Newer versions encrypt the files on your PC so you can’t access them, and then simply demand money to restore your files.
Ransomware can get on your PC from nearly any source that any other malware (including viruses) can come from. This includes:
- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
- Opening emails and email attachments from people you don’t know, or that you weren’t expecting.
- Clicking on malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, instant messenger chats, like Skype.
It can be very difficult to restore your PC after a ransomware attack – especially if it’s infected by encryption ransomware.
If you suspect that you’ve been infected, don’t reconnect a backup disk. It could also get encrypted. Seek expert advice.
Better still use a Cloud backup service like our Storegrid service rather than store files locally. The air gap across the internet stops our servers from getting infected from your PC.
That’s why the best solution to ransomware is to be safe on the Internet and with emails and online chat:
- Don’t click on a link on a webpage, in an email, or in a chat message unless you absolutely trust the page or sender.
- If you’re ever unsure – don’t click it!
- Often fake emails and webpages have bad spelling, or just look unusual. Look out for strange spellings of company names (like “PayePal” instead of “PayPal”) or unusual spaces, symbols, or punctuation (like “iTunesCustomer Service” instead of “iTunes Customer Service”).
For belt and braces you need to back up regularly and make sure your backing up what is important.
A home user can normally recreate documents from memory but the pictures of past holidays and events just can’t be recreated. Imagine losing your wedding pictures!
A business user can risk losing the hold music from the phone system but can’t loose recordings, pictures or legal documents.
Get a really good antivirus program and also a really good Malware protection like AVG Cloudcare and also HitmanPro. Combined for £50 a year you have really good protection.
Call us if you want a copy!
On a business network we can set up a “Software Restriction Policy”. These control which software is allowed to run and prevents unwanted software from being installed.
It takes experience to get the settings so that the system is not too restrictive but it still gives the protection you and your employees need.
All of our hosted and in house systems are protected this way. All of our customers with contracts were contacted and configured recently, but if you have questions about your network or think that a software execution policy would be helpful then call and speak to Andy
Belt and Braces
Look at our Cloud backup system. It’s a great investment